It’s peak tourist season in Yosemite National Park, wherehotels and campgrounds fill up quickly, especially on three-day weekends or holidays.
With Father’s Day added onto this weekend, it would seem a presidential family visit would throw most businesses in the area into chaos.
“He’s just another individual, another person,” said Thomas Paminto, a clerk at the Fish Camp General Store, of President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Yosemite this weekend.
The store bills itself as the last place to pick up groceries before reaching the park. The business is just two miles from Yosemite’s south entrance. Paminto says that Obama’s visit with his family really isn’t going to have a major effect on his business or others’. Most campers or visitors who want to be at Yosemite already have booked their hotels or campgrounds.
“They’re kinda screwed if they’re trying to get a hotel or campsite this weekend,” he notes.
Hotels in Yosemite Valley are booked this weekend, as are campgrounds. Tent cabin for the weekend? Nada. Housekeeping camp? Sorry.
We’re pretty much booked solid.
Ashley Burghardt, of the Sierra Sky Ranch in Oakhurst
Marlo Burghardt, general manager of the Narrow Gauge Inn in Fish Camp, said she doesn’t have much to offer, either. “We are 94 percent booked,” she says of the hotel that markets itself as a “home away from home.” Memorial Day through Labor Day, she says, is prime season, regardless of who is visiting. Right now, the inn is booked through Father’s Day.
At Sierra Sky Ranch in Oakhurst, where Burghardt’s daughter Ashley works, it’s the same story.
“We’re pretty much booked solid,” Ashley Burghardt said. Fifteen out of 16 rooms are currently booked at the hotel. Ashley thinks that one room will fill up quick. She already has turned down larger groups of visitors, since rooms open one or two at a time.
While the hotel is almost always full this time of year, people are filling up reservations for the restaurant, the Branding Iron, specifically for Father’s Day. The younger Burghardt has five large parties already reserved.